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Port Arthur saw six murders in 2015

Port Arthur Police saw six murders in 2015, several of which remain on-going investigations.

The reported motives range from drug related to who-done-it type crimes.

The first homicide of 2015 was that of Stephen Haylock, 59, who was fatally shot in the chest at Sea Gull Motel, 6828 Gulfway Drive.

The suspect, Valerie Haylock, is the daughter of the murdered man. She was arrested at the scene and indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury just more than a week later.

The deceased was Port Arthur native who was raised in Nederland and most recently had lived in the Dallas area.

On July 6, 2015, the badly decomposed body of a female was found by workers walking along Old Yacht Club Road about 500 feet from the roadway.

An autopsy was conducted and the case is being investigated as a homicide.

The remains were sent to the University of North Texas Anthropology Department for further testing and DNA was extracted from the bones.

The female’s identify is unknown at this time but there was a missing persons case from Orange County that matches the female’s description, Port Arthur Police Sgt. Scott Gaspard said.

Police are working with the DNA and a sample from the woman reported missing to see if they are a match.

“We are making progress but are still not ready to name the female as we are waiting DNA,” Gaspard said.

Under Texas law, the homicide can be prosecuted in the jurisdiction the homicide occurred or where the body was found. PAPD is taking the lead on the case.

The city’s third homicide occurred July 16, 2015 with the shooting death of Denzel Jervon Washington, 25.

Washington was found shot to death in his car in the 3400 block of 15th Street.

Jose Esquivel, 24, was charged with the murder. In a probable cause affidavit, Esquivel allegedly told police he robbed Washington of a “large amount of cocaine” and money after shooting him.

Esquivel is also a suspect in a crime spree that preceded the murder some of which includes stealing money from a clerk at Judice’s French Market and shooting and injuring Jafar A. Hill.

A fourth homicide occurred Sept. 29, 2015 with the shooting death of Michael Blanchard, 42, whose body was found shot to death behind Royal Furniture, 4221 Gulfway Drive.

Logan Wayne Carter, 19, of Port Neches was charged with the murder.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Carter was a passenger in the front seat of a vehicle driven by a female. Blanchard was in the left rear back seat and another man was in the seat next to him.

An altercation occurred during a reported drug deal between the man in the back seat and Blanchard and the suspect fired several shots at Blanchard who was not armed.

The victim’s body was then dumped behind the furniture store and discovered by a deliveryman.

Carter was arrested Oct. 1 and he was indicted in December.

Police are still investigating the shooting death of Quientein Hill, 35, who was found dead inside his home in the 2000 block of Stanley Boulevard on Sept. 30.

The victim’s girlfriend had tried to contact him via phone and had become concerned when she couldn’t reach him. She got into contact with the man’s brother who went to the house several times and knocked. He later decided to break into the house and found Hill deceased on the couch with a gunshot wound.

“No suspects have been identified in this case,” Gaspard said adding police are continuing to pursue leads in the case. “We haven’t quit working on it. Some of the leads appear promising.”

The sixth homicide of the year was that of Michael Reed, 29, of Port Arthur.

Reed was found dead from an attack in a home in the 1700 block of 10th Street.

Police identified Eric McWilliams, 32,a, transient, as a person of interest in the homicide.

McWilliams was located about 200 miles away in the city of Teague. He is being held on a mental health warrant in that city.

Anyone with information about the unsolved crimes is asked to contact PAPD at 983-88600 or Crime Stoppers at 833-TIPS.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

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